We have found a lovely and cosy BB called Daresfield, just outside Keswick on the A591 to Windermere, and we adored it, it is run by a friendly couple, Bryan and Vron and their dog called Bonnie. They have 3 bedrooms and they are very relaxed and available to help if you need any information on the area. Vron has also a doll making laboratory downstairs, she has been cultivating her passion for about 30 years and won a good few rosettes that she displays with honour in one of her glass cupboards together with her beautiful dolls collection. She is now making Johnny Depp in his character of The Pirate of the Caribbean…If you wish to book a room please call B&B Daresfield 01768772531.
Keswick is a pretty little town of 5000 people situated on the northern side of the Lakes.
As it is very touristic you can find plenty of places where to sleep, eat and shop, (especially if you need mountaineering equipment). There is one shop in particular that is very famous for its quality outdoor clothing called George Fisher. But I suggest you to book in advance during summertime, as the town population can easily triple in quantity, and we are not surprised why! Right in the centre of the town is the tourist information centre where you can buy local maps and get information of the local hikes and sports adventures, from canoeing in the nearby Derwenwater lake or going ape in the trees of the Whinlatter Forest. We would like to go hiking at some point of our holiday and I found out that on the Derwenwater you can get on a boat trip and hop off at one of the many starting points for your walks in the nature. There are walks for every type of feet from the easy to the experts, as the highest peak to climb is only about 1000 metres you could dare an adventure to the top with not too much difficulty. The hills and peaks here have no trees so as long as you don’t come off the path and follow the map it is unlikely that you will get lost. The weather though plays the main role here as it can be very changeable with strong wind so be prepared to wrap up with water and wind proof layers of clothes and some good hiking boots, they can all come handy even if you are just having a stroll in the town. We have arrived in the late afternoon on our first day and since it is quite sunny we decide to go and see Castlerigg, an ancient stone circle on the like of Stonehenge. It is only about 1 mile from Keswick and definitely worthwhile a visit especially around sunset time, where the stones and the surrounding landscape acquire a beautiful orangey cast, and both sheeps and tourists are not around as much. For our second day we are planning to take a drive on the scenic B5289, that starts from Keswick and goes by the Derwenwater and then up to the villages of Borrowdale and Buttermere through the Honister Pass, we have already been suggested by both an amateur photographer that we met on the Castlerigg site and by Brian, our BB owner, and I am looking forward to it. Unfortunately we wake up with a pouring rain so we decide to check in our next accomodation instead and leave the panoramic drive for the next day. Our hotel for the next two nights is near Windermere, on the southern side of the Lake District. We have found a great deal on Groupon for a 2 night stay with breakfast plus dinner for two for the first night at the Damson Dene Hotel, with swimming pool and gym facilities, all for only £139 and we are curious to see if it meets the expectations! So we take a drive from Keswick onto the A591 through Grasmere and Ambleside, both worthwhile a stop by the way. It takes only 30 mins from Keswick and here we are on the hotel’s doorstep, on the A5074, just a few miles from Bowness. The hotel meets the standards so far, stuff is very friendly and professional, we leave here our luggage and since the weather has lightly cleared up we drive back to Bowness, right by theWindermereLake. This is the biggest mere in theLake District where you can also combine walks and boat trips for under £10. The sun is right out now so we take a drive around in the look of some nice landscape photos. The hills are lower in this part of the District but we eventually find a nice little road near Gawthwaite on the A5092, that leads to the Burlington Slate mine, one of the many in the area, and from here you can enjoy a stunning view of the Irish Sea on your left and the Old Man of Coninston Peaks just in front of you. After photographing a beautiful sunset we head back to the Hotel for our complimentary dinner which reveals to be excellent! If you fancy some local food you can go for the salmon as a starter and the pheasant as a main course, they both taste delicious. We agree to sip our coffees in the hotel lounge, where a cosy and elegant sofa is waiting for us next to the fire. The next morning is also quite rainy and cold, but we decide to get out for that drive around Keswick anyway in the hope for the sky to clear at some point! This time we drive back onto the A592 direction Penrith, passing by Kirkstone pass and Glenridding, by theUllswaterLake. This road is also very scenic and we stop many times to photograph the beauty of the land. When we get on the A66 we take the left to Keswick and eventually turn left again once in the town centre onto the so much wanted secondary road to Buttermere. The sun keeps playing hide and seek and it is very windy when you get out of the car but this little road takes you to some wonderful landscape that shows off its best at the Honister Pass, where the peaks gets rocky and the road cuts them right through, becoming more and more bendy and steep, it seems to be into one of those fantasy films, like the Lord of the Rings, and the pink sprayed sheeps laying around give the landscape that eccentric touch so typical of the British Culture. At the top of the pass is a slate mine that is worthwhile a visit, you can walk to the top of one of the peaks around the area from there. We stop here for a coffee and to warm up our bones while we admire this piece of Earth’s beauty, for then to head back towards our hotel, which from here is only 1 and half hour away. We stop in Bowness for a carvery dinner at the Lakeview pub, where you can eat a roast for under £5 and enjoy the view on the bay. This is our last night in the Lake District, tomorrow morning we’re heading back to our London Home, with one more flag to stick on the world map of the most beautiful places on Earth! I hope you enjoyed reading about our experience on the Lake District and that you find our information useful if you wish to adventure yourself in this spectacular area of Great Britain Marta Demartini